PUBLIC SCHOOL NEW YORK is the thread that sews streetwear and luxury fashion together. Capturing the quintessence of The Big Apple, over the past few years designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne have won the hearts of the most established names in the fashion industry. From working side-by-side at Sean John to founding PUBLIC SCHOOL in 2008, Chow and Osborne’s low-profile collaborative success was first recognized in 2010 by the Council of Fashion Designers in America (CFDA) to be a part of the inaugural business development program. In 2013, PUBLIC SCHOOL won the CFDA Swarovski Award for Menswear, only to win the CFDA VOGUE Fashion Fund Award a few months later. But besides winning over the high-brow fashion crowd, PUBLIC SCHOOL NYC’s street sensibilities are what created the buzz and unique appeal around the brand, setting itself up to be the torch-bearers for the burgeoning trend of blurring the lines between traditional streetwear and established high fashion.
To say PUBLIC SCHOOL has legs is an understatement.
The well-deserved accolades have only begun to highlight Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne’s journey as they continue to pioneer through high-end streetwear earning the respect of many along the way. They’ve proven to be a distinguished exemplar of New York through and through, personifying the classic loner in a big city; a sophisticated, low profile, athletic and at the same time polished individual.
Avant-garde has profoundly inspired past collections – emphasizing proportions, focusing on shapes and silhouettes designed by the idea that there is always beauty to be found in imperfections.
In recent interviews, they’ve hinted at secret upcoming collaborations, launched a 50-pair limited edition Air Jordan 1 model (friends and family only), and produced a first ever PSNY Women’s collection to be released this Fall. Instead of taking a feminine approach, their women’s collection carries the same silhouettes as their men’s lines, acting as the PUBLIC SCHOOL boy’s counterpart rather than its girlfriend.
Here is why all of this matters for the future of the fashion industry, and – I’m just going to say it – culture. Just as New York is the connector of many worlds, this idea greatly influenced Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne to bridge the gap between high and low fashion: blurring lines, blending aesthetics and uniting traditional attitudes with dreams of new progressive goals. This is an idea that maintains strong roots in street style while having the flexibility to walk the vaunted catwalks of high fashion. This is creating unintimidating designs that don’t just stop at the runway. This is having enough vision to separate the sheep from the shepherd. This is taking what your past has taught you and creating something new from the same seed that bore you. This is a love letter to New York.
Earlier this summer, PUBLIC SCHOOL was announced to be the winners of CFDA’s Menswear Designers of the Year and the regional Woolmark prize after competing against four other menswear firms. They’ll be representing the U.S. alongside MARCIA PATMOS by going head-to-head with finalists from all over the world at the international competition this upcoming March 2015 in Beijing.
Trust you’re not gonna wanna sleep on them.